Your Eagletarian got an e-mail this morning from a gentleman who wanted me to know that had Norm Van Brocklin been told to run that fourth-down handoff play to Correll Buckhalter, instead of a quarterback sneak, The Dutchman would have refused to do so. He would have, instead, responded with "an Obscene Jester."
A few years ago, Hugh Douglas was kind of an Obscene Jester, before the run-in with Terrell Owens, anyway. I'm not sure where McNabb fits in there. (But I can't make too much spelling fun, as the guy who, blogging and writing on deadline and trying to watch the end of the game Sunday night, managed to mangle "epitaph".)
Then, in the Inquirer, which is reinventing journalism by printing e-mail exchanges between its columnists in the paper a day later, one of the columnists, the usually reliable and witty Mr. Ford, opined that you could blame this on Andy Reid if you really wanted to, but that he felt the quarterback "came up remarkably small."
Hmmm. OK, I'm trying to get there. Let's see. On that goalline stand series, after completing all four of the passes he attempted, perhaps McNabb should have drawn up a play in the Soldier Field dirt, a quadruple reverse, say, with either Rudy or Vince Papale carrying the ball across the goalline, as the music swells and the shot of the celebrating players is frozen, just before the credits roll. That would've been better.
And that interception, where the super rookie, DeSean Jackson, broke off his post pattern and went outside just as McNabb was throwing to where he should have been? McNabb should have anticipated Jackson doing that. They're paying this guy a lot of money. Is telepathy too much to ask?
Why stop there? Remember the pass that would have been a touchdown if it hadn't sailed past Jason Avant's shoulder? I think McNabb should have squeezed his eyes shut and stopped time, like Hiro on "Heroes," run over to Avant, whispered, "Yo, dude, ball coming, hands up," then unstopped time. The Eagles would have won.
Back in the real world, McNabb played a solid, decent game, not spectacular. He missed most of the practice week with a bruised chest. Jackson seemed to kind of go into a shell after muffing that punt, and down the stretch, McNabb was trying to come back to win in a hostile stadium with Buckhalter as his chief offensive weapon. He very nearly did.
But then on Monday, McNabb failed in his attempt to get lawmakers to rally around the financial bailout package, which was defeated.